Savor Armenian Cuisine and Experience Culture at the 56th Annual Armenian Bazaar & Food Festival
San Francisco, CA, September 05, 2013 --(PR.com
)-- The St. Gregory Armenian Food Festival Committee is pleased to announce the 56th Annual Armenian Bazaar & Food Festival, celebrating Armenian-American heritage, to be held September 13th through 15th at The Khachaturian Armenian Community Center in San Francisco, CA.
Widely recognized as one of the most popular ethnic food festivals in the Bay Area, the committee predicts more than 10,000 attendees will partake in this year’s three-day event. “Every year we are excited to share our Armenian American heritage with the Bay Area community, and welcome everyone to help celebrate our food, dance, music and art,” said Father Khoren Habeshian, Pastor of St. Gregory The Illuminator Armenian Apostolic Church in San Francisco, which has hosted the festival annually since 1957.
This year’s festival boasts something for people of all ages. Aside from a wide range of cultural activities, the festival promises even more variety for everyone. Guests will continue to enjoy the live music and traditional dancing, folkloric dance ensembles, KidZone inflatables, arts and crafts, carnival games and raffles. Many vendors will be on hand to offer festival-goers a unique shopping experience at their own Vernissage Bazaar.
Beyond the famous and authentic Armenian beef & chicken kebabs, food enthusiasts should not miss this year’s extended menu, which includes Mediterranean and Middle-Eastern cuisine, sandwiches, spice-infused vegetarian dishes, and much more. Festival-goers can also stop by the “Food-To-Go” booth and order a variety of mouthwatering dishes, appetizers and pastries to take home – classic favorites are the Sarma (stuffed grape leaves) or the Sou-Beoreg (a silky, lasagna-like cheese and parsley delicacy).
The festival will take place at The Khachaturian Armenian Community Center at 825 Brotherhood Way in San Francisco, on Friday, September 13 (6 p.m. to midnight), Saturday, September 14 (Noon to Midnight), and Sunday, September 15 (Noon to 6 p.m.). Join them in kicking off the opening night of the Food Festival at Friday’s happy hour and enjoy special drink discounts!
Admission is $5 (Free for Kids 6 and under), and Sunday is Free-Admission to all festival-goers. The facilities are indoor/outdoor, ADA-accessible, public transportation friendly, with ample free & valet parking.
St. Gregory The Illuminator Armenian Apostolic Church is a non-profit 501(c)3 organization. All proceeds directly aid programming for both the church and the KZV Armenian School – the only Armenian primary school in Northern California. For more information, please contact Archdeacon Sevag Badoyan at (415)751-9140 or visit www.stgregorysf.org. (For your consideration, the following page also includes additional information on the history of the Armenians and the festival.)
Armenians have a history dating back more than 6,000 years, with a culture deeply-rooted in performance and literary arts, as well as in the Church. In fact, Armenia adopted Christianity as a state religion in 301 AD, becoming the first nation in the world to do so. “Our faith is at the root of our identity, so it is not surprising to witness 1700 years of spirituality transcended through the music, the dance and the art of such an ancient people, and this festival gives us an opportunity to showcase this rich cultural identity to our friends and neighbors,” said Father Habeshian.
“For generations, Armenians have helped build this community, and are proud to call San Francisco and the Bay Area their home,” said Festival Committee member Vache Darakdjian. For example, the City is home to the Mount Davidson Cross – a 103 foot high cross set atop the highest geographical point in the city. Maintained by the Council of Armenian-American Organizations of Northern California, it is one of the world’s tallest crosses and among the city’s most cherished landmarks. And as the Cross’ official website so eloquently states, “The cross honors not only those who perished in the Armenian Genocide, but all victims of injustice, cruelty, and genocide. It also serves as a reminder to remain vigilant against future atrocities.”
Armenians historically lived in the Caucus and Eastern Turkey, at the juncture between the Middle East and Eastern Europe. Although the history of Armenians immigrating to San Francisco and the surrounding Bay Area can be traced back to the late 1800s, most Armenians began immigrating west in large numbers through the 1950′s, with an especially large number settling in California’s Central Valley and Southern California. Over the years, as the cities in the Bay Area expanded, so did their Armenian populations. Today, the region boasts a population nearing 100,000, with approximately 1.4 Million Armenians nationwide. Famous Armenian-Americans including George Deukmejian, William Saroyan, Andre Agassi, Cher, Arshille Gorky, Kim Kardashian, David Nalbandian and Serj Tankian.
“We’re amazed at how much this festival has grown in popularity, not just with Armenians, but with everyone in the Bay Area. It used to be that locals would drive by, hear the music, and pop in for a little entertainment, but each year, through word-of-mouth, the festival draws more and more non-Armenian food enthusiasts who hear about the great delicacies,” said Festival Committee member Zareh Sarkissian.